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The scheming Apparatchik of the Prague spring

Heimann, Mary (2008) The scheming Apparatchik of the Prague spring. Europe-Asia Studies, 60 (10). pp. 1717-1734. ISSN 0966-8136

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Abstract

In the last week of August 1968, as unfolding footage of the Soviet and Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia was being shown to an astonished world, the reputation of the country's leader, Alexander Dubek, began to be fixed in collective political memory. The Times, like most other Western newspapers, presented the First Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (Komunistick strana eskoslovenska (KS)) as a gentle, decent man; a leader as devoted to his countrymen as they so manifestly were to him. True, Dubek had at first been hesitant to embrace radical reform; but, once persuaded of the need to liberalise and democratise the communist system, he had become one of 'liberal' or 'progressive' socialism's staunchest and most enthusiastic supporters.